Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Sudden and Ignominious Failure of UPS

Happy New Year!

To start off this year I need to tell you a little story.  It involves a kind-hearted woman, a mean delivery man, and a sad little programmer who was given the grandest gift of all.  The beginning of this story starts off in early December when my wife, the kind-hearted woman, ordered me the new 27" iMac for Christmas.

The new iMac is stunning.  It's only 4 millimeters thin on the sides and has a gorgeous display.
After ordering the computer Apple announced that only the 21" iMac would be made available before Christmas day.  The 27" would be shipped between January 2nd and the 8th.  After my wife ordered it on December 2nd our UPS tracking number reported that we should expect the arrival on December 31st!  Well that's great!  I would get it 2 days earlier.  Hooray!

On December 31st I decided to take the day off and wait diligently for the UPS guy to arrive.  While I waited I was upstairs taking apart my current computer to box up and put away.  You know... in that place where past PCs go to whither away in time.  Otherwise known as the closet.  During that time I realized that the time was 12:38 pm.  The package was supposed to arrive at noon.  Hmm... guess he is running late.  At 1:15 I got worried.  I took out the tracking number that Apple provided me and looked up where my package was.

What the?!  The package was already marked as "1st delivery attempted"!  It said that I wasn't home to receive the package.  Well that's absurd because I've been here the whole time.  I even have a loud mouthed dog that notifies me when people are at the damn door EVERY time.  There's no way that he showed up, knocked on my door or rang my door bell, and come to the conclusion that I wasn't home.  Even my wife and daughter was home and nobody heard a thing.

Of course, I immediately get on the phone with UPS.  Correction, my wife gets on the phone with UPS, because we all know if you want anything information out of customer service then you have to send in the pissed off wife. ;)  She tells the UPS person about the truck that didn't stop at our house and asks about the possibility of meeting the truck or having it stop back by later, but it was New Year's Eve and nobody was willing to go out of their way to correct this wrong that was done to me.  So instead, since UPS is closed on New Year's Day, we chose to pick up the package on the next day, January 2nd.

On January 2nd my wife goes to pick up the package in Laurel, Maryland.  It's about a 30 minute drive from our house.  When she arrives she finds out that they don't have the package!  What?  You said it would be there!  Immediately my wife asks for the manager and attempts to gather some information from the lady.  She found out that the driver locks the truck up on New Year's Eve, leaves it in the UPS parking lot and doesn't unload ANYTHING until after their first shift when they come back on the 2nd.  The lady instructs my wife to come back between 8pm and 9pm that night and it will be off the truck and we can pick it up.

I decided to let my wife sit this one out since most of the work is done.  The package should be there when I arrive at 8 pm, right?  Wrong.  I show up promptly at 8 pm.  The package is not there.  The UPS lady says the truck is running late and that it should arrive shortly - it should be here in 10 - 15 minutes she says.  I waited for an hour and a half.  At 9:30 walked up to the lady and asked about the status of my package.  She types on her HP computer for a moment.  Leans her head to the side and says "huh".  She begins to tell me that they couldn't find my package, that it's LOST!  How the heck does UPS loose a very expensive computer?  Argh!  It this point I was a "little" mad.  I call my wife.  She calls Apple.

Apple has wonderful customer service!  The Apple representative held our hand and said everything is going to be alright.  He filed a inquiry with UPS to find the package and setup to have another new iMac directly sent to our house.  This guy is great!  It wasn't even Apple's fault, it was the mean delivery guy who failed to knock on our door, but the Apple rep. took care of it.  During our phone calls with UPS we always got a dry attitude and little information.  I'm sure that they get these issues all the time and have become numb to how their customers feel when they lose a package.  The difference between the service at Apple vs. UPS was amazing to me.  This is my first iMac and with service like that it defiantly won't be the last.

All that happened last night between 8 pm and 11:30 pm.  This morning I woke up and called the UPS Customer Service at 8:30 am.  They said that they received the inquiry from Apple and started looking for the package.  At 1:49 am that night they found it!  Of course I asked the lady to prove it.  I've been told that a couple times before.  She said she just went back to the storage room and touched it.  Wonderful!  So at lunch today I took a little extra time off and drove the 45 minutes (each way) to the UPS facility to pick up the package.

It's now in the back of my car as I write this.  I'm going to open it as soon as I get home and have an "unboxing party".  My next blog post will be written from the desktop of my new iMac.



  1. I think the real lesson here is to not order a $2000 computer and have it shipped to you... lol. UPS messes up too often to take a risk like that!

    Sarah |

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